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Pro-Tips for Buying and Modifying a Golf Cart - GOLFCARTSTUFF.COM™

Pro-Tips for Buying and Modifying a Golf Cart

Golf Cart Stuff Senior Content Writer.

Written by: Amber Ripley

Read Time: 5-7 minutes


Buying a golf cart, whether brand new or new-to-you, is such an exciting time! Whether you're interested in a cart for driving around town, the campground, or your personal property, there are countless ways to modify a golf cart for any use you can imagine.

In today's article, we'll help you understand what to look out for when shopping for a golf cart and the best process for adding aftermarket parts to your new buggy, once you've picked one out. 

Before You Buy...

It can be challenging to remain calm when checking out golf carts for sale and stumbling across a great deal. Before you add that buggy to your shopping cart, there are a few absolutely critical points to consider to be most certain...

How and Where to shop for a new golf cart

New Golf Cart VS. Used Golf Cart

Choosing between a new or used golf cart can, no doubt, be a difficult decision to weigh. While you may think the price would be the most differentiating factor, there is much more to consider beneath the surface.

Many people wonder, 'What is the best golf cart brand?' The simple answer here is Club Car, EZGO, and Yamaha golf carts; they have dominated the market since their respectful beginnings and have laid the groundwork for other manufacturers to come on the scene.

Lesser-known but growingly reputable golf cart manufacturers include Star EV, EVolution Electric Vehicles, GEM, and Icon EV. Outside of these golf cart manufacturers, we recommend extensive research for aftermarket parts and services.

A brand-new stock golf cart off the showroom floor will typically have a starting price of around $10,000 (USD, as of January 2023). At the same time, a golf cart that is a few years older, but has seen a complete overhaul and is loaded with all the best golf cart accessories, could be on the market for a comparable price. And we can't neglect to mention the "too-good-to-be-true" deals on golf carts that are a few years older and a bit rough around the edges. If it seems too good to believe, it may just be. 

Private Sale VS. Dealership

Buying a golf cart from a Private Seller VS. Dealerships

If you plan to buy a new or used golf cart from a dealership, you can expect to pay more, but with that, you also get more confidence in your purchase by obtaining a golf cart from a reputable company with a warranty. This also gives you the added benefit of somewhere to call or go back to with any issues or questions you may have in the future.

Purchasing a golf cart from a private seller has the potential to save you precious dollars that you could put into future golf cart accessories, but not without certain risks. While we work with the lovely folks who make up the golf cart community daily, we also understand that not all golf cart sellers are truthful. Private sellers may be reluctant to disclose some of the flaws of the cart and less willing to allow buyers to complete a full inspection or test drive... and you definitely won't find a private seller offering a warranty with a used golf cart.

Tips for buying a used golf cart

That said, don't shy away from used golf carts. Regular, good people sell gently used golf carts all the time, and they are some of the best finds out there. Just make sure to do all the necessary research and question-asking before you sign that check!

How to Inspect a Used Golf Cart

  • Verify the year, make, and model by the golf cart's serial number. Below are three handy guides for identifying the most common golf carts on the market today.
  • Inquire how the previous owner used the golf cart. Was it used on streets and golf courses, or did they use it for backwoods mud-bogging?
  • On gas golf carts, inspect engine components and inquire about the frequency of regular preventative maintenance such as oil changes.
  • Batteries are one of the most expensive components to replace on an electric golf cart. Ask how often the batteries were charged (the answer you're looking for is "after every use"), inspect the water levels (on lead-acid batteries) to ensure they are not below the plates, and ensure the batteries are not corroded or bulging.
  • Look over the wheels, tires, and brakes for uneven wear. These could indicate issues with alignment.
  • Inspect the golf cart frame for signs of rust, particularly in areas near the coasts. Golf carts in hurricane zones are susceptible to flooding saltwater, which can lead to damage and decay beyond repair.
How to inspect a golf cart before you buy

    RED FLAGS When Buying a Golf Cart

    • The seller will not allow you to inspect the golf cart.
    • No test drive is allowed.
    • The seller doesn't provide the cart's make, model, or serial number.
    • No information is given about ownership or maintenance history.

    What to know before buying a golf cart

    Just as with standard road vehicles, you may have to make some compromises. Spend less money on a used golf cart that needs a little TLC, or spend more on a newer one and add upgrades and accessories later.

    When you fall in love with "THE cart," do a little research about the make and model as a final step. If you're not at least a hobby mechanic, make sure there are OEM replacement parts, aftermarket accessories, positive reviews, and service available for that specific cart before taking it home.

    Next, we'll discuss the most significant upgrades to consider to turn a stock or previously owned golf cart into your very own customized recreational personal transportation vehicle.

    How and When to Add Accessories to a Golf Cart

    Now that you can add all this stuff to your golf cart, when should you?

     When to add accessories a golf cart

    So, you found a cart. WOOT WOOT!! Now, the real fun begins. Whether you bought new or new-to-you, you're in for a treat. The journey of refitting a golf cart is exciting and full of endless options. If you can dream it, you can build it. If you can build it, you can drive it around town. The best thing about golf cart accessories is that you can do most of the installations yourself.

    Before you dive in head first, it's important to remember to add golf cart accessories in a meaningful order. Begin with performance and functional parts, leaving the more cosmetic golf cart accessories for later, ensuring your project begins with a solid foundation to build around and there are no surprises down the road.

    Keep in mind these are all suggestions and recommendations based on our experience serving the golf cart community.

    Needs will vary based on the requirements for each individual golf cart that is purchased.

    How to Add Accessories to a new golf cart

    Golf Cart Parts to Upgrade First:

    Safety and Street Legal Golf Cart Accessories:

    The next group of golf cart parts for your build are functional, increase safety, and add a bit of aesthetic flair. If you want to create a street-legal golf cart, these are the items you can't skip.

    Street Legal LSV Safety Accessories for Golf Carts

    Unique and Custom Golf Cart Accessories for the Cool Factor

    Now is when you make your golf cart stand out against a crowd of basic stock buggies. Rest in the confidence that you've upgraded all of the most critical functional and safety components, and give that golf cart a personality!

    Golf Cart Aesthetic Upgrades

    Your trusted team at Golf Cart Stuff™ carries a wide selection of these accessories and so much more. On top of that, we have a knowledgeable team of product experts with years of industry knowledge to help guide you in the right direction at any point in your golf cart makeover journey.

    We included some links above to the most popular products discussed in this article. To shop the rest of our online store, please use the navigation at the top of the page!

    Golf Cart Stuff brings honest and helpful discussion to the golf cart community
    Let's Chat in the
    Comment Section below! 
    Golf Cart Stuff Helpful Blog Content Writing What would you get if you crossed a scientist and a golf cart? It would be our Senior Content Writer, Amber Ripley! If you have a question, she knows how to research to bring you the information you need. Before joining the ranks at Golf Cart Stuff™, Amber was in sales and marketing for industrial tool and die products, so digging into all the nitty gritty, technical details about Golf Carts is par for the courseIn the words of a famous songwriter: “If you got a problem, Yo! She’ll solve it!”
    Email: sales@golfcartstuff.com
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